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John Reilly, 'General Hospital' star, dies at 84

The veteran soap opera actor was best known for his role as Sean Donely on "General Hospital."
/ Source: Reuters

John Reilly, a veteran soap opera actor best known for his role as Sean Donely on "General Hospital," has died. He was 84.

Reilly's daughter, actor and TikTok personality Caitlin Reilly, shared the news on Instagram.

"The brightest light in the world has gone out. Imagine the best person in the world. Now imagine that person being your dad," Caitlin wrote. "I'm so grateful he was mine. I'm so grateful I got to love him. I'm so grateful I made it in time to hold him and say goodbye. I honestly don't know what I'm going to do, but I know he'll be with me."

She didn't specify a cause of death in her post.

Born on Nov. 11, 1936 in Chicago, Ill., Reilly began his acting career in the 1960s with small roles on shows like "Death Valley Days," "Apple's Way" and "Gunsmoke." In 1974, he replaced John Colenback as Dr. Dan Stewart on "As the World Turns," and stayed on the show until 1976. In addition to his roles on television, Reilly also appeared in the films "The Main Event" in 1979 and "Gorp" in 1980.

In 1983, Reilly had a recurring role on the soap opera "Dallas," and the following year he was cast as Sean Donely on "General Hospital." He remained on the show until 1994, and later reprised the role in 2008 and 2013. In addition to his work on "General Hospital," Reilly appeared in several episodes of "Beverly Hills, 90210" as Kelly Taylor's father, and took over the role of Alistair Crane on the NBC soap opera "Passions" in 2005.

John Reilly in 1978.ABC Photo Archives / Walt Disney Television via Getty

The official "General Hospital" account paid tribute to Reilly on Twitter, writing: "The entire General Hospital family is heartbroken to hear of John Reilly's passing. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones."

Frank Valentini, an executive producer for the long-running soap opera, also tweeted, writing, "The entire GH family mourns the passing of John Reilly #GH @GeneralHospital Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends."

Reilly is survived by his wife, Liz, and three daughters.